‘the towers of babble’ refers to the mythological tower of babel that humanity built to challenge heaven. they were punished by god, who confused their languages so they could no longer communicate with each other. with no communication, there was no hope of completing the tower; and people spread out over the earth.
there has been so very much said about and around the twin towers of the world trade center since the attacks of september 11. news reports all over the world even seem to privilege reporting around this attack over tragedies in their own territories. for all the talk, though, we seem to be growing further apart and less able to understand each other, as amply illustrated in the recent furore over building a mosque/community centre near the site of the twin towers and/or koran-burning pastors.
i am asking two questions. one–is this some sort of punishment for consequence of (thanks G) our civilisational hubris? is the earth (if not heaven) striking back at a human civilisation that threatens to destroy it? second–for all the newsprint it has consumed, is this american tragedy really worse than others the world faces?